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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  March 21, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> pelley: tonight, one of the biggest penalties in the history of sports. the nfl levies unprecedented suspensions for paying players for excessive violence. the story from armen keteyian, analysis from special correspondent james brown of the "n.f.l. today." questions on the controversial self-defense law at the center of a fatal shooting. jeff glor asks the man who wrote it. >> any regrets about stand your ground? >> pelley: we tracked down the importer who sold counterfeit cancer drugs in the u.s. >> reporter: do you know what was in the fake avastin? >> pelley: and chip reid on an american original making american history in the u.s. senate.
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captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. by many measures, football is practiced by the nfl as the most popular product in america. $10 billion a year in revenues, nearly 160 million viewers of the last super bowl. but tonight, the value of the league is being measured by how it has responded to a scandal. the commissioner, roger goodell, has just imposed unprecedented sanctions against the new orleans saints, finding team management was in on a scheme to pay players to injure opponents enough to force them out of the game. armen keteyian reports on the nfl putting the so-called bounty program out of business. >> reporter: pounding away at all-pro quarterbacks like curt werner and brett favre, the new orleans saints marched through the play-offs and all the way to a super bowl title in 2010. today, in a knockout blow of his
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own, n.f.l. commissioner roger goodell delivered an unmistakable message about the scheme fueling the saints' success. >> i don't think you can be too hard on people that put at risk our players' health and safety. we need to change the culture. this is another step in changing that culture. >> reporter: earlier this month, an nfl report based upon a two- career investigation had implicated as membership as 27 saints players in the so-called bounty program that ran between 2009 and last season. then defensive coordinator greg williams was cited for handing out cash to his players for injuring opponents. they allegedly received $1,000 for forcing an opponent to be carted off the field. $1,500 for a knockout hit upon linebacker jonathon vilma is accused of putting up $10,000 of his own money for anyone who took favre out of a n.f.c. championship game. goodell summedded saint head coach sean peyton for the 2012 season without pay for failing to stop the program and falsely
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denying its existence. williams, the architect of the pay-to-injure scheme, was suspended indefinitely. assistant head coach joe vitt received a six-game ban. and mickey loomis got eight games with out pay for his part in the scandal. in addition, the saints were fined $500,000. goodell said player sanctions would come at a later dade date. the only previous action that comes close to today's punishments dates back to 1963 and the yearlong suspension of paul hornung and alex karras, for gambling. >> pelley: thank you, armen. joining us now in washington is james brown, a cbs news special correspondent and the host of the "n.f.l. today." j.b., why are these penalties so severe? >> the essence of the situation, scott, is that the head coach is the face of the organization. he runs the show there. and the fact that sean peyton, the head coach, knew that this system, this bounty program was in place, he effectively lied about it when the commissioner
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and league authorities asked about it, so that explains why the penalty was so severe. >> pelley: now, we only heard about management today. why no decision on the players? >> commissioner goodell is doing his best to work with the n.f.l. players association and coming up with what he feels and they feel collectively is a fair punishment. but rest assured, that is to come in terms of those players who have been clearly identified who participated in the bounty program. there will be some punishment forthcoming. >> pelley: you have been talking to a lot of household names around the league today, both present and former. i wonder how this is being received. >> believe it or not, they absolutely agree with the commissioner's decision. this goes directly at player safety, and the integrity of the game. and they couldn't have agreed more with the commissioner's decision.
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>> pelley: james brown, special correspondent for cbs news and the host of "the n.f.l. today." thanks, j.b. civil rights leaders kept up the pressure on the police in stanford, florida, today to arrest george zimmerman. he's the neighborhood watch captain who shot and killed an unarmed teenager. zimmerman claims the shooting was justified, based on a florida law that allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves. jeff glor spoke today with one of the men who wrote that law. >> reporter: at the center of the controversial shooting in sanford is florida's self- defense law, cosponsored in 2005 by state representative dennis baxley. any regrets about stand your ground? >> no, i think it's been a great protection for our people. >> reporter: the intent of the law was to expand self-defense claims beyond the home. it allowed a person to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if there's a reasonable belief it's needed to prevent death or great bodily harm. even if there's a chance to escape. >> we felt like the self-defense measures that we were talking about really should apply to any law-abiding citizen who was doing nothing to harm anyone else. >> reporter: george zimmerman claims he was defending himself from trayvon martin when he shot the 17-year-old dead last month.
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sanford police say florida law prohibited them from arresting zimmerman. >> sometimes the application or interpretation of its use is the problem. >> reporter: 23 other states have passed similar legislation since 2005. "the tampa bay times" found 132 cases in florida where the law has been invoked. 74 defendants were cleared. when you first heard about the trayvon martin case, it brought back memories? >> yes, it did. it brought back a lot of bad memories. >> reporter: sharon bostic's 16- year-old ton traveris was sitting in his car in a sanford parking lot when he was surprised by private armed guards seven years ago. the teen pulled away in his car. the guards shot him in the back and killed him. a judge dismissed manslaughter charges after the guards claimed travaris was trying to run him over. >> they should never have passed a law like that. this is not jesse james and doc holiday time. >> nothing is ever finished in the legislature. i learned that. you know, everything can always
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be readdressed. >> reporter: today, representative baxley told us it may be time for a new look at stand your ground. if i'm hearing you correctly, you're willing to revisit the language in this law and potentially change it. >> we need to look at the circumstances that occurred and see if some kind of legislation is order. >> reporter: baxley says he does not think a wholesale change is needed but, scott, he says based on what he knows about the trayvon martin case, stand your ground would not apply here. >> pelley: jeff, thank you very much. in southern france, the police have had a building surrounded all day and late into the night. the man holed up inside says he is a member of al qaeda and he is wanted in a series of deadly attacks, one of them at a jewish school on monday. this morning he shot and wounded three officers who had come to arrest him. elizabeth palmer has breaking news at the seem in toulouse, france. elizabeth.
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>> reporter: we're being held about 300 yards away from the apartment building where the suspect has been negotiating with police all day, threatening to give himself up but never appearing. then about 11:30 local time there were three loud explosions. the police have said they were to intimidate him. it's hard to tell from here what exactly is going on. it appears the explosions were outside the building and it seems clear that at this moment anyway the suspect is not yet in police custody. mohammed merah is the killer, say police, who road up on a motorcycle and coldly gunned down seven people, including a jewish rabbi, his two sons, and a little girl. the french prosecutor says merah, who is of algiers descent, said he was planning further attacks, including one this morning targeting a soldier. the break came in the police manhunt from this bike shop in toulouse. a customer came in asking to have his motorcycle repainted
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and a tracking device removed. it turned out to be the suspect's brother. that tip led police to this apartment block where merah spent the day holed up, occasionally shooting at officers outside. france's interior minister said merah claimed to have al qaeda connections and that he'd spent time with islamist groups in pakistan and afghanistan. while the standoff at the apartment continued, president nicholas sarkozy attended the funerals of three french soldiers gunned down last week. "we must be unite" said the president. "we owe it to the victims of these cold-blooded assassinations." merah told police negotiators that the killings were revenge for as he put it the palestinian children and france military mission in afghanistan. the prosecutor added he showed no remorse, just regret he hadn't had time to kill even more people. >> pelley: a rapidly developing story. in the presidential race, after his win in illinois last night,
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mitt romney got a big endorsement today from jeb bush, the former governor of florida says it is time for republicans to unite around the front-runner. romney defeated rick santorum in illinois by 12 points. romney's now come in first in primaries and caucuses in 16 states and has just under half of the delegates needed to clinch the nomination. john dickerson is our cbs news political director, and, john, santorum, gingrich, and paul are all still in the race, but is this becoming a one-man contest? >> reporter: it sure does look like it, and that's what was important about this endorsement today. romney's gotten a lot of them, but this one is different because jeb bush is a well- respected figure in the party, and romney has been make, the case in the wake of his big win in illinois that the party should rally around him. he has that insurmountable lead in the delegate count and that a bruising race only hurts the
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effort to take on barack obama. and jeb bush echoed that view saying after 34 contests it was time to unite the party. in an attempt to keep it from being a one-man race romney's rival seized on a comment about one of romney's advisers about an etcha-sketch, suggesting it is a symbol for his changing views. >> pelley: for his part, president obama has seen his approval ratings drop as the price of gas has gone up. he headed west today to defend his energy policy, and chief white house correspondent norah o'donnell is with the president in nevada tonight. norah. >> reporter: scott, with the president taking heat from republicans, he came here to defend his agenda. he wants america to be less dependent on foreign oil, to explore new sources because this white house is keenly aware that those spiking gas prices could doom his reelection chances. the president today came to boulder city, nevada to tour the largest solar plant of its kind
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in america. these nearly one million solar panels power 17,000 homes. it's the kind of picture-perfect backdrop chosen by the white house for the president to takes on republicans who he says don't take the need for alternative energy seriously. >> think about that mindset, that attitude, that says because something is new, it must not be real. if these guys were around when columbus set sail, they'd be charter members of the flat earth society. >> reporter: but republicans note the price of gas has doubled under the president's watch, and today the conservative republican group crossroads g.p.s., began airing tv ads here in nevada, blaming mr. obama. >> then and now. the difference, president obama's administration restricted oil production in the gulf. >> reporter: but the president rejected this today, arguing that the u.s. is drilling at a record pace. >> we're producing more oil right now, here in america, than at any time in the last eight years.
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any time in the last eight years. we're opening up more land for oil exploration. we've got more oil rigs operating. there are more pipelines out there that are being approved. >> reporter: and, scott, the president will travel all the way to oklahoma tomorrow for what is basically a photo op at the keystone pipeline's southern leg. the president is directing his administration to speed up that critical energy project so he can show that he wants to get something done. >> pelley: norah, thank you. we've tracked down the man whose company shipped fake avastin to the united states. fema gives tornado-ravaged illinois an answer on its appeal for disaster funds. and a rocky horror show, when the "cbs evening news" continues.
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shipped them to the u.s. >> reporter: we traveled to the caribbean nation of barbados to sit down with the man responsible for bringing counterfeit avastin into the united states, tom haughton. tom? >> hello. >> reporter: armen keteyian. a source close to a federal criminal investigation told cbs news houghton's role importing avastin into the u.s. is a key part of the probe. haughton told us he broke no laws. >> i have nothing to hide. the businesses that i have are ethical, safe, and legal. >> reporter: you talk about safety, but the fact is, according to you, 36 packets of the fake avastin got into the hands of doctors and into the hands, potentially, of patients, so how can it be so safe? >> because we followed protocol. we, as a licensed, registered u.k. wholesaler, bought the product through the trusted and controlled e.u. supply chain. >> reporter: do you know what was in the fake avastin? there was salt and starch and there was acetone. but there was nothing in there that would fight cancer.
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>> well, and for me, that is shocking, and it's so disappointing. >> reporter: according to the food and drug administration, the only avastin approved for use in the u.s. is made in the u.s. by genentech. haughton, who operates several pharmaceutical-related business in barbados, repeatedly blamed his european supplier and regulators for failing to discover the counterfeit drug. >> we are legally entitled to sell any products within the-- with our license to any registered or licensed doctor, wholesaler so the question... >> reporter: not according to the f.d.a. you're not. >> ...then you need to go to these clinics. >> reporter: now it's the clinics' fault? it's not your fault for bringing in through your company into the united states avastin that turned out to be fake? >> these clinics, they purchase this product, and we're not in the u.s., so i'm not sure what the u.s. laws are. they would have to-- they would have to make sure what they're
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doing-- >> reporter: you're not sure of what the u.s. laws are regarding the use of avastin, a cancer- fighting drug, a life-saving drug in the united states? >> i'm telling you that we, my wholesaler in the united kingdom, i clearly-- >> reporter: it's your company, tom. >> i know, and i know what the laws are in the u.k., but you'd have to ask those clinics. >> reporter: so you don't know, though, really, whether that product, which turned out to be fake, was made in someone's bath tub in egypt or turkey? >> i'm not going to speculate, but i know for a fact that my business followed protocol. they purchased this avastin through a licensed and registered wholesaler. we bought it through the regulated and e.u. supply chain. >> reporter: situations like this are why federal health officials prohibit the importation of drugs through sources not approved by the f.d.a. as one expert told us, once you step outside the regulated route for drugs, you might as well be playing russian roulette. >> pelley: patient beware.
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thank you, armen. a texas-sized drought. record losses for farmers and ranchers next. hey dad. see how the carrots i grow
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[ male announcer ] antacids don't relieve gas. gas-x is designed to relieve gas. gas-x. the gas xperts. >> pelley: we got a new measure today of the pain caused by last year's historic drought in texas. economists estimate that losses from loss of livestock cost the state more than $7.5 billion. that shatters the previous record of about 4 billion for the drought in '06.
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illinois governor pat quinn said today fema has rejected the state's appeal for tornado relief funds. seven people died when a powerful twister hit the town of harrisburg on february 29. fema says state and local governments should be able to handle the cleanup and help homeowners in need. the need for help was pretty obvious today for one family in ohio. have a look at this. a bolder slipped free from a hillside touring a rainstorm last night and slammed into their home southeast of columbus. the bolder 25 feet across also crushed two cars but no one was hurt. she's been a rock in congress. and she has just reached a milestone. senator barred next. itis pain. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain.
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what an insulting, humiliating thing to say. you were abused by your husband, then you were abused by your insurance company! >> reporter: what makes you proudest about your tenure in the house and in the senate?
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good evening i am allen martin. san francisco has a new shares. by a do solemnly a firm that i will support. law enforcement veteran vicki hennessey was sworn in this afternoon after a share for shown the door he was formally suspended today ahead of an ethics investigation into his domestic violence case. from the change in of the guard and what is next for both incoming and outgoing shares. not only was he suspended he was suspended without pay. and hit with a stack of charges they now faces the for the ethics commission those charges included " grabbing and restraining his wife during the new year's eve incident in which they got into fights but

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